The Dutch international arrived at the club from Eintracht Frankfurt on a season-long loan, and he has now revealed that European champion Wijnaldum played a key role in his decision come to Tyneside.
“Before I came, I had other options,” he said, as per the Shields Gazette. “I asked him [Wijnaldum], and he said ‘go to Newcastle, [it’s a] great club and you will enjoy it, not only the football but the life outside of it’.
“I was in Germany, and the intensity is high, but here you make a lot of sprints and everything. In every team, they have three or four top players, and everyone can win against everyone. It’s a top competition.”
These two spent several years together at PSV Eindhoven, while they have obviously met up on international duty over the years as well, although not so much recently in Willems’ case. Wijnaldum only spent the single season at Newcastle, one in which the club were humiliatingly relegated, but the 28-year-old certainly put in some decent performances at St James’ Park. Clearly he enjoyed his time with the Magpies, so much so that he advised Willems to go ahead and make the transition to English football with Steve Bruce’s side. It seems as if Wijnaldum enjoyed his life ‘outside’ of football at Newcastle, as well. We all know about the notorious night life on the Toon, and it seems as if the current Liverpool star is familiar with it as well. Now, we can reasonably assume that Willems is as well. The big question now is whether the Dutchman will extend his stay on Tyneside beyond the current campaign.